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US-China Relations

Duowei: Chinese Arms Sales in Thailand Harbor Beijing’s Geo-Strategy

As an important neighbor of China, Thailand has purchased a variety of weapons and equipment from China, including the S-26 conventional submarine, VN-1 eight armored combat vehicles, Kashi-1C air defense missiles, guards-1B long-range rockets and more. On April 4, Thailand decided to purchase 10 more China VT-4 main battle tanks. It is less than a year since the last time Thailand bought China’s main battle tanks. In fact, not long ago, Bangkok, to a large extent, still chose to buy defense equipment from the United States and its Western allies.

China’s arms sales to this U.S. ally, Thailand, is intended to convey its strategic intentions to the United States: It is important for China to maintain the stability of the surrounding areas, including the stability of the South China Sea. China’s arms sales to Thailand cannot fundamentally change America’s Asia-Pacific policy, but such sales can be used as a means to show China’s attitude towards U.S. Asia-Pacific policy. Its political significance is far greater than its economic and military significance.

China’s military exchanges with Thailand, as well as with other countries and regions at different levels also show the outside world that China has the intention to bear more responsibility to maintain regional security.

The China-Philippines Scarborough Shoal incident, the Sino-Japanese Diaoyu Islands conflict, the China and South Korea “THAAD” dispute, and the Sino-U.S. “freedom of navigation” incident in the South China Sea all have made China’s peripheral security situation deteriorate. The United States’ shadow in these events was everywhere. In the military field, although China has made progress, the gap between the two countries is still very big. In order to encourage the United States to accept China’s rise, it is not enough to stay at the level of being firm strategically. Perhaps more and more intensive arms trades will show that China’s desire to play a more leading role in regional security is not only at the stage of having the idea, but has been put into action.

Source: Duowei, April 5, 2017
http://global.dwnews.com/news/2017-04-05/59808944.html

SPIC: Still Evaluating Westinghouse’s Bankruptcy

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Chairman of China’s State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) visited Japan and had a discussion with its parent company Toshiba about the future of Westinghouse. He told the media that SPIC was still evaluating Westinghouse’s ownership structure. SPIC has not yet made a decision on whether to acquire it. China’s third generation nuclear power plants use Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear technology. Based on U.S. media reports, the Trump administration has been very much concerned about the potential possibility of Chinese capital acquiring Westinghouse. Westinghouse, with its 130 years’ history, is widely recognized in the world as the original inventor of nuclear power generation. SPIC paid a lot of attention to Westinghouse’s bankruptcy before it was even filed. SPIC said the restructure of Westinghouse should not concern the U.S. government, since it has already been sold several times previously. However, sources revealed that the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has taken actions to seek the elimination of any Chinese connection among the potential buyers. Westinghouse owns a large number of military technologies as well.

Source: Sina, April 8, 2017
http://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/2017-04-08/doc-ifyecezv2467689.shtml

China’s Bottom Line on North Korea Nuclear Issue: The Security and Stability of Northeast China

In a commentary on North Korea’s nuclear crisis, Global Times, a newspaper under People’s Daily, published an article giving China’s bottom line if the U.S. chooses to challenge the North Korean regime unilaterally. The article stated:

“If the U.S. wants to solve North Korea’s nuclear issue, it is necessary to reduce the differences among the peripheral countries and form some key consensus. At the same time, it must also open up channels of communication with Pyongyang and leave some open space to allow the pressure on North Korea to take effect.”

“China hopes that the North Korean nuclear issue gets resolved as soon as possible. However, no matter what happens, China has a bottom line. China will protect China’s Northeast territory at all costs for its safety and stability. Related to this, North Korea’s nuclear activities must not cause any pollution in Northeast China. In addition, North Korea cannot go through the kind of turmoil that will produce a massive output of refugees. On the other side of the Yalu River, it cannot have a regime hostile to China. The U.S. military cannot march to the Yalu River.”

“If Washington wants to strengthen cooperation with Beijing to solve the North Korea nuclear issue, its policy should not be against China’s above concerns.”

Source: Global Times, April 5, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-04/10425899.html

Global Times: Some Americans Are Anxious To Stir Up Disputes in the South China Sea

China’s state media Global Times published a commentary about a report from the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI). The commentary stated that AMTI is trying to reignite the international media’s attention in its focus on the “militarization of the South China Sea,” saying that AMTI reported that “China’s military project on the Nansha (Spratly) Island reef has been completed, ready to deploy fighters and missiles and other equipment at any time.” The article labeled AMTI as the think tank that has always been stirring up problems about the South China Sea issue.

The article said, “At present, the situation in the South China Sea is calm and tranquil. This makes some Americans rather anxious, frequently trying to stir up disputes in the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on (March) 28 whether China does or doesn’t deploy necessary national defense equipment in its own territory is a matter within the scope of China’s sovereignty; it is also a sovereign state’s right of self-defense and self-protection bestowed by international law.”

In commenting on the U.S. military’s response to the report, the article said that the U.S. military changed its past pattern of fanning the flames following such a report but obviously still agreed with the conclusion. It quoted Pentagon spokesman Ross’s statement that “more and more evidence shows that China continues to militarize the construction in the South China Sea,” and “China continues to take one-sided actions, resulting in increased tensions in the region.”

Source: Global Times, March 29, 2017
http://mil.huanqiu.com/observation/2017-03/10394431.html
http://military.people.com.cn/n1/2017/0329/c1011-29176345.html

RFA: Microsoft Customized Windows 10 for the Chinese Government

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that, according to Microsoft, a joint effort between Microsoft and its Chinese partner has been completed. The project was to customize the Windows 10 operating system to comply with the requirements that the Chinese government imposed. Experts expressed their belief that this new accomplishment may improve the weak sales situation of Microsoft products in the Mainland China market, which has heavily regulated and controlled the Internet market landscape. The customized Windows 10 version is designed specifically for government purchases instead of for the consumer market. Many international technology companies had to do the same thing. Qualcomm, Intel, and IBM all took the same approach. However, Microsoft did not reveal what they did for the Chinese government. The customization was required under the Chinese government’s worry about “back doors.” This task was challenging because Microsoft had to satisfy China’s requirements while protecting its core intellectual properties as well as ensuring that the Chinese government would not monitor the company.

Source: RFA, March 22, 2017
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/meiti/nu-03222017105817.html

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